|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 127-130
Gutta-percha disinfection: A knowledge, attitude, and practice study among endodontic postgraduate students in India
Venugopal Panuganti, VJ Vivek, CM Jayashankara, S Anilkumar, SA Girish, Jyothi Kashi Nanjundasetty
Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Sree Siddhartha Dental College and Hospital, Tumkur, Karnataka, India
|Date of Web Publication||29-Aug-2016|
V J Vivek
Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Sree Siddhartha Dental College and Hospital, Tumkur - 527 107, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Aim: (1) To evaluate knowledge, attitude, and practices about methods of gutta-percha disinfection by endodontic postgraduate students in India. (2) To check the sterility of two commercially available, freshly, and previously opened gutta-percha box which was exposed to the clinical environment. Materials and Methods: Data were collected in a prescribed format from 400 endodontic postgraduate students. The questionnaire was designed to evaluate their knowledge about standard sterilization protocols of gutta-percha points, attitude toward the utility of guidelines/protocols of sterilization in the success of root canal treatment and practice of these sterilization protocols. For microbial assay, 10 cones of freshly opened gutta-percha 6% taper of size 25 from diadent (Diadent Group International, Korea) Group A and Dentsply (Dentsply Maillefer, Switzerland) Group B. Cones from the same companies which was kept in chair side working environment during obturation were selected as Group C and Group D, respectively, for aerobic and anaerobic culturing. Results: Among the respondents 75% did not practice any disinfection protocols. Only 25% followed the disinfection of gutta-percha cones. In anaerobic culture Group B turned out to be positive in all samples, all other groups were negative. Conclusions: The endodontic postgraduate students possess adequate knowledge on disinfecting gutta-percha cones, but regular practice of this is uncommon. Microbial assay showed that even freshly opened gutta-percha cones might be contaminated.
Keywords: Disinfection, gutta-percha, microbial assay, postgraduates, sterility
|How to cite this article:|
Panuganti V, Vivek V J, Jayashankara C M, Anilkumar S, Girish S A, Nanjundasetty JK. Gutta-percha disinfection: A knowledge, attitude, and practice study among endodontic postgraduate students in India. Saudi Endod J 2016;6:127-30
|How to cite this URL:|
Panuganti V, Vivek V J, Jayashankara C M, Anilkumar S, Girish S A, Nanjundasetty JK. Gutta-percha disinfection: A knowledge, attitude, and practice study among endodontic postgraduate students in India. Saudi Endod J [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Apr 14];6:127-30. Available from: https://www.saudiendodj.com/text.asp?2016/6/3/127/189353
| Introduction|| |
The goals of endodontic treatment are the successful entrance, cleaning, and shaping of the root canal system and filling to prevent the microbial reinfection. Decreasing the number of microorganisms without damaging, the adjacent vital tissues enhance the success rate of endodontic treatment. Priority in all steps is to eliminate or, at least, minimize microbial contamination. During endodontic therapy, an aseptic sequence is to be strictly followed to achieve this primary intention. Presently, gutta-percha cones are the most commonly used material for the obturation of the root canal system. They are biocompatible, dimensionally stable, radiopaque, and thermoplastic. If necessary, they can also be easily removed from root canals. Even though gutta-percha cones are produced under aseptic conditions and have some antimicrobial properties mainly due to their zinc oxide component, they can be contaminated by handling, even if carefully removed from their packages. They can also be contaminated by aerosols and physical sources during the storage and treatment process.
Making the gutta-percha cones used to fill the root canal system free from pathogenic micro-organisms would be in concurrence with the goal of endodontic therapy. Moreover, it is against the basics of any standard disinfection protocol to contaminate the disinfected area with a potentially contaminated filling material. Hence, disinfection of the obturating material is mandatory. Therefore, a rapid chair side chemical disinfection is advocated. A large variety of chemical disinfectants have been used to sterilize gutta-percha cones before root canal filling including sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), glutaraldehyde, alcohol, chlorhexidine (CHX), hydrogen peroxide, polyvinylpyrrolidone iodine, and mixture tetracycline citric acid and detergent (MTAD) (DENTSPLY Tulsa Dental, Tulsa, OK, USA) which is a mixture of doxycycline, 10% citric acid and Tween-80 detergent. It has been found by numerous studies that sterilization by immersing cones in NaOCl at 5.25% concentration is effective for a rapid high disinfection level.,,,,
Various other studies have shown that the use of CHX is more beneficial as the microscopic changes in the gutta-percha cones can be avoided after disinfection, unlike in case of NaOCl.,
Knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) study was done previously on sterilization protocols followed by postgraduate students in dental colleges of India while using rotary files. The results showed though they had adequate knowledge and positive attitude on sterilization, the practice of this was less prevalent. A pilot study was done on gutta-percha disinfection showed a lesser prevalence of disinfection practices. Hence, it was decided to evaluate the prevalence of this disinfection practice among postgraduate students and to check the sterility of cones from two commercially available, freshly opened gutta-percha boxes and a previously opened box exposed to the clinical environment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate KAP about methods of gutta-percha disinfection by endodontic postgraduate students in India. In addition, the sterility of freshly and previously opened gutta-percha will be evaluated.
| Materials and Methods|| |
Data were collected in a prescribed format from 400 endodontic postgraduate students. Privacy was guaranteed, and the individual results were kept confidential. The questionnaires were designed to evaluate:
- Knowledge about standard sterilization protocols of gutta-percha points
- Attitude toward the utility of guidelines/protocols of sterilization in the success of root canal treatment and
- Practice of these sterilization protocols.
Majority of the questions were close ended. The feasibility of the study and the clarity, quality, and length of the questionnaire items were ensured by means of a pilot survey conducted in Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics (Sree Siddhartha Dental College and Hospital, Tumkur). Ethical clearance waiver form was also obtained.
For microbial assay, 10 gutta-percha cones of freshly opened box 6% taper of size 25 were selected randomly from five boxes, two from each box, of the following companies:
- Group A - Diadent (Diadent Group International, Korea), and
- Group B - Dentsply (Dentsply Maillefer, Switzerland).
Cones from the same companies that were kept for 2 months intentionally at chair side working environment were also selected similarly as:
- Group C - (Diadent in clinical environment) and
- Group D - (Dentsply in a clinical environment).
Each cone was transferred to test tube containing 1 ml of thioglycollate broth. The test tubes were then vortexed and inoculated in MacConkey agar and chocolate agar for 48 h for aerobic culture. It was inoculated on to supplementary blood agar for 72 h for anaerobic culture. Colony forming units if any was counted manually.
| Results|| |
Of 400 students, 265 (66%) knew that gutta-percha cones were neither sterile nor predisinfected while 214 (54%) believed in 1 min immersion in 5.25% NaOCl solution for disinfection [Figure 1].
A total of 342 (85%) of respondents thought that the disinfection of gutta-percha plays an important role in the outcome of root canal treatment, whereas 58 (15%) thought otherwise.
Solid core gutta-percha was the unanimous choice for routinely used obturating material in practice, and lateral condensation was the routine method of obturation. Only 98 (25%) respondents routinely practiced disinfection of the gutta-percha cones.
In microbial culture, both Group A and Group B gave negative culture. However, in anaerobic culture Group B turned out to be positive in all samples with average colony growth of 150 colonies. This showed the cones to be nonsterile in the package itself. The purpose of microbial assay was to check the sterility of cones only, hence the Group D, which was the same as Group B exposed to clinical conditions, was omitted. Bacterial culture of Group C was carried out, and it again turned out to be negative in aerobic and anaerobic cultures.
| Discussion|| |
It would be worthwhile if cones used to fill the root canal system were free from pathogenic micro-organisms because endodontic therapy is mainly a procedure of decontamination to prevent the dissemination of microorganisms throughout the root canal system and periapical tissues., Though none of the manufacturers claim that their gutta-percha cones were sterile in the current survey, 34% of the postgraduate students thought the cones were sterile in the package. The students overall had adequate knowledge on the methods to disinfect gutta-percha cones with 54% using NaOCl and 34% using CHX for disinfection.
There have been some controversies regarding the surface alterations of the gutta-percha cones due to salt precipitations after using NaOCl as a disinfectant, which could negatively impact the sealing ability when used along with resin based sealers especially.,, There has been evidence to show that disinfection of cones by immersing into CHX was ideal without causing any deteriorating surface defects.,,
This survey showed that 86% of endodontic postgraduate students thought the disinfection of gutta-percha cones played an important role in the outcome of root canal treatment. Despite this knowledge on the nonsterility of cones, and on the various chair side methods to disinfect them before obturation, 75% did not practice any disinfection protocols. Only 25% followed the disinfection of gutta-percha cones. The basic principle of minimizing of the endodontic microbial flora and preventing further contamination seems to have been violated by not pursuing any of this simple chairside disinfection protocols.
Cones from commercially available companies, Diadent (Diadent Group International, Korea) and Dentsply (Dentsply Maillefer, Switzerland) were selected in the current study. Groups A and C showed no microbial growth. The sterility of the Group A can be attributed to the antibacterial properties of the zinc oxide combined with the stearic acid in the gutta-percha., It is stated that stearic acid, a constituent in them, also had some inhibitory effect on some bacterial species. The laser inspection of cones, as claimed by the manufacturer, could have also helped in some disinfection.
The microbiological assay of the gutta-percha cones turned to be negative in all aerobic cultures, but in Group B, where freshly opened cones were used, the anaerobic culture turned out to be positive. This clearly underlines the importance of disinfection of gutta-percha cones before using it to obturate. Other groups, including the ones that were previously opened and was under clinical use giving a negative culture, can explain the higher success rates of root canal treatments despite not following gutta-percha disinfection. The sterility of the cones in the box, that was under clinical use depends on the sterility of the chair side environment, as there were no intentional attempts made to contaminate the cones unlike in other studies that gave positive results., The sterility of freshly opened cones from the same company, Dentsply was checked by Gomes et al. and this had also given a similar result.
The limitations of this study include the shorter incubation times used. A longer incubation time may be needed for some species of bacteria, and this cannot be overlooked. Hence, more sensitive tests such as polymerase chain reaction testing are to be carried out before confirming the sterility of gutta-percha cones. However, even with the shorter incubation times, the fact that one group turned positive for bacteria strengthen the point for disinfection.
| Conclusions|| |
- The endodontic postgraduate students possess adequate knowledge on disinfecting gutta-percha cones, but regular practise of this is uncommon
- Microbial assay showed that even freshly opened gutta-percha cones might be contaminated.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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